Dear Parish Faithful,
I am forwarding to you an interesting and topical subject that Ralph has forwarded to me, together with his introduction. There are no political intentions on my part, but since Mormonism is in the news with the candidacy of Mitt Romney, as Orthodox Christians we need to know more about one of the fasting growing religions in the world (a disturbing fact to me!), and its essentially non-Christian character. Doctrines matter very deeply, because the doctrines or dogma of the Church claims to reveal reality as it is.
I believe that an Orthodox Christian critique of Mormonism would be worded somewhat differently than what you read below from CARM: Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry; but the over-all doctrinal issues involved, and their biblical roots, are presented soundly enough.
Dear Father Steven,
I found the recent exchange between Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney very revealing, and perhaps an opportunity to shed some light on the sometimes poorly known heresy and non-Christian religion which is mormonism. Huckabee made a remark about Mormonism (see below), which he has now apologized for. However, the below statement by a spokesperson for LDS makes it clear that they do not understand who Jesus Christ is, nor are they aligned with the Orthodox faith in Christ, nor do they worship the One God in Spirit and in Truth.
They say they believe that Jesus was the only begotten son of God in the flesh, whereas of course, as we proclaim in the Creed, we "believe in One Lord, Jesus Christ, begotten of the Father before all ages, Light of Light, True God of True God, begotten not made, OF ONE ESSENCE with the Father, BY WHOM ALL THINGS ARE MADE." The Mormons do not, as they claim in the below statement, "believe as other Christians believe." Their own statements make that abundantly clear (in spite of their deceptive wording which tries to make it sound as if they are Christians).
Huckabee, an ordained Southern Baptist minister, asks [in an article and interview in the New York Times], "Don't Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?"
The authoritative Encyclopedia of Mormonism, published in 1992, does not refer to Jesus and Satan as brothers. It speaks of Jesus as the son of God and of Satan as a fallen angel, which is a Biblical account.
A spokeswoman for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said Huckabee's question is usually raised by those who wish to smear the Mormon faith rather than clarify doctrine.
"We believe, as other Christians believe and as Paul wrote, that God is the father of all," said the spokeswoman, Kim Farah. "That means that all beings were created by God and are his spirit children. Christ, on the other hand, was the only begotten in the flesh and we worship him as the son of God and the savior of mankind. Satan is the exact opposite of who Christ is and what he stands for."
Here are a few key paragraphs from a pretty solid website called CARM: Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry, which clearly explain why mormonism is emphatically not Christian:
"Is Mormonism Christian?" is a very important question. The answer is equally important and simple. No. Mormonism is not Christian.
The reason Mormonism is not Christian is because it denies one or more of the essential doctrines of Christianity: that there is only one God, Jesus is God in flesh, forgiveness of sins is by grace alone, and Jesus rose from the dead physically, the gospel being the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. Mormonism denies three of them: how many gods there are, the person of Jesus, and His work of salvation.
Mormonism teaches that God the Father has a body of flesh and bones (D. & C. 130:22) and that Jesus is a creation. It teaches that he was begotten in heaven as one of God’s spirit children (See the Book, Jesus the Christ, by James Talmage, p. 8). This is in strict contrast to the biblical teaching that he is God in flesh (John 1:1, 14), eternal (John 1:1, 2, 15), uncreated, yet born on earth (Col. 1:15), and the creator all (John 1:3; Col. 1;16-17). Jesus cannot be both created and not created at the same time. Though Mormonism teaches that Jesus is god in flesh, it teaches that he is "a" god in flesh, one of three gods that comprise the office of the Trinity (Articles of Faith, by Talmage, pp. 35-40). These three gods are the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. This is in direct contradiction of the biblical doctrine that there is only one God (Isaiah 44:6,8; 45:5).
Because Mormonism denies the biblical truth of who God is, who Jesus is, how forgiveness of sins is attained, and what the gospel is, the Mormon is not Christian -- in spite of all his claims that he is.
Mormonism teaches that god is only one of countless gods, that he used to be a man on another planet, that he became a god by following the laws and ordinances of that god on that world, and that he brought one of his wives to this world with whom he produces spirit children who then inhabit human bodies at birth. The first spirit child to be born was Jesus. Second was Satan, and then we all followed. But, the Bible says that there is only one God (Isaiah 43:10; 44:6,8; 45:5), that God has eternally been God (Psalm 90:2) -- which means he was never a man on another planet. Since the Bible denies the existence of other gods (and goddesses), the idea that Jesus is the product of a god and goddess couple is rejected. The Bible tells us that the Jesus of Mormonism is definitely not the same Jesus of the Bible. Therefore, faith in the Mormon Jesus, is faith misplaced because the Mormon Jesus doesn't exist.